tax assessments to central circle

Supreme Court: In a special leave petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party(‘AAP’), Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and other charitable trusts (‘petitioners’) against the judgment and order dated 26-05-2023 passed by the Delhi High Court, wherein the Court rejected their pleas challenging the decision of the income tax authorities to transfer their tax assessments to the central circle, the division bench of Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, JJ. while directing for relisting the matter for final hearing/disposal on a non-miscellaneous day in February 2024, expressed its reservations on accepting the petitioners argument that faceless assessment of income by tax authorities was a matter of right.

The primary issue considered by the Delhi High Court was that, whether the assessments of the petitioners could be transferred to the Central Circle by way of the impugned orders passed under Section 127 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 without sanction of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

Justice Khanna while clarifying that he is “not expressing” any final view, orally remarked that both forms of assessment, faceless and physical have their “positives and negatives”. Further, he added that to claim that it is a “vested right” would be difficult to accept.

[Aam Aadmi Party v Commissioner of Income Tax, Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (C) No. 13038/2023, Order dated 16-01-2024]

With Inputs from Press

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner(s): Senior Advocate Arvind P. Datar, Advocate-On-Record Kavita Jha, Advocate Anant Mann, Advocate Vaibhav Kulkarni, Advocate Akash Shukla, Senior Advocate A.M. Singhvi, Advocate-On-Record Vibhooti Malhotra, Advocate Bhuvnesh Satija, Advocate Amit Bhandari, Advocate Udit Sharma, Advocate Sheetal

For Respondent(s): Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Advocate-On-Record Raj Bahadur Yadav, Advocate Kanu Agarwal, Advocate Zoheb Hossain, Advocate Balaji Srinivasan, Advocate B.K. Satija, Advocate Naman Tondon, Advocate Vaibhav Mishra, Advocate Padmesh Mishra, Advocate H.R. Rao

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